A Deeper Insight Into Responsive Web Design And Its Numerous Benefits

By Martyn B Lenthall

Web design has evolved tremendously over the past several years, and programmers are constantly looking for new ways to make websites more user-friendly. This is how responsive web design emerged in the web design industry: in a nutshell, responsive web design (simply known as RWD) is a form of design that aims to adjust the overall format and content of a website, so that it matches the screen of the device used by the visitor to access it.

Nowadays, people barely use their laptops and personal computers to access social networking websites, e-commerce platforms and so on – instead, they tend to rely more on their tablets and on their smart phones to do so, as they are more portable and functional, thus being suitable for those who are always on-the-go. This is why RWD can make a major difference in the way the visitor perceives a website and, ultimately, it can also add to the conversion rate, an aspect that is particularly important for business owners. Here you will find out more about RWD, mobile-friendly websites and their benefits.

What Is A Mobile-Friendly Website?

Simply put, a mobile-friendly website is a site that adjusts its layout to the hand-held devices used to access it. These websites have several notable benefits over the traditional websites, as we all know them: for instance, they load a lot faster and they are designed in such a manner that they will only display the most relevant information to the visitor. Besides this, the content of mobile-friendly website is automatically adjusted as well: the text font is slightly increased, so that the user can read it better without having to zoom in. On average, smart phone screens are about five time smaller than the screen of a regular computer, this is why it is paramount for the content to be adjusted accordingly.

Mobile-friendly sites require less scrolling and they are also easier to navigate. Although every webmaster can choose to have his website professionally optimized for iPad, tablet, iPhone and smart phone users, those who own online marketplaces and virtual stores usually benefit the most for this. The last thing a mobile user wants or needs these days is to spend minutes trying to find the information/product/service he or she is looking for, this is why it is paramount for websites to be properly optimized and as easy to navigate as possible.

What Is Responsive Web Design And How Does It Work?

The concept of responsive web design is fairly simple and straightforward, as RWD aims to make a website more flexible, so that it responds to the needs and requirements of each individual user, based on the device they are using. There are three essential aspects that make responsive web design stand out from the traditional design: the fact that it adapts based on the screen size, the orientation of the device used for accessing the website (vertical or horizontal) as well as the platform (tablet, smart phone, “phablet” and even wearable devices, as they have become extremely popular lately).

RWD involves a mix of versatile layouts, grids as well as CSS media queries, as it is important for the website to be truly responsive on more than just one level. In other words, a professionally optimised website should automatically adjust its text, while resizing all the Flash files as well (such as the pictures or the videos). It is essential for a website that features RWD to be able to accommodate for the scripting abilities, as well as the resolution needs of every portable device used for accessing it.

What makes RWD stand out from the other forms of web design is that all its page elements (from the columns and block of text to the media files) are sized by their proportion, as opposed to their pixels as it usually happens with classic websites designed to be accessed via PC or laptop only. One of the many reasons why responsive web design is so volatile these days is that the resizing is actually all-round and it encompasses all the elements present on the page – in other words, if there is a picture inserted within a block of text, then you can rest assured knowing that the picture will be resized as well, therefore it will maintain its position and the general layout of the website will virtually be the same, just resized on a smaller scale to fit the screen.

What Are The Benefits Of Opting For Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design holds several extremely important business advantages that should not be overlooked, and if you have a website that works as your “virtual business card” for your company or you own an e-commerce store, then you should certainly consider embedding RWD into it. Firstly, responsive design can save you a lot of time, money and trouble on mobile optimisation, as it often happens that in order to make an existing website mobile-friendly, the developer has to create a “mirror website”, which is a standalone site that requires additional maintenance.

Secondly, as mentioned earlier, responsive design can truly boost your average monthly sales (and revenue, respectively) and it can also increase your conversion rate. The concept of “conversion rate” goes hand in hand with that of lead generation – basically, it is the purpose of every business owner to convert as many of his website visitors (prospects) into customers. On average, the conversion rate for a regular website varies between 3% and 5%, but for a website that features RWD, it can be of 10% or even higher, which automatically allows business owners to be more visible than their competitors. RWD aims to remove some of the barriers that traditional websites pose to portable device users (pages loading very slowly, small text that needs zooming, non-intuitive website interface and so on), and this will undoubtedly add to the overall user experience.

Lastly, responsive design can increase a website’s overall ranking and visibility in the search engines, and it should be part of every SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy.

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